It’s TakeOver time! Being a British citizen, I had to stay up until 3:30 am in order to get this to all of you lucky people to read. You’re all welcome but please, no applause, just throw money. So, what happened on NXT TakeOver: San Antonio? Let’s take a look.
Kicking off the night was Tye Dillinger Vs. Eric Young. Dillinger was offered one last chance to join the dark si- I mean SAnitY. Much like last week, Tye took a moment to consider his options, then throwing the jacket down and fiercely attacking Eric Young, the match was underway. Tye was quite impressive as usual and it’s always fun to see him in his element. Despite interruptions from Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain (Big Damo) at ringside, Dillinger fiercely fought back and did manage to land the Tye Breaker on Young, but a rope break interference prevented The Perfect 10 from securing the victory. Sadly after many shenanigans from his crew, Eric Young got the win. It’s sad for Tye to get another loss, but maybe he’ll be in the Royal Rumble? Please? At Number 10 specifically?!
Next up was Andrade “Cien” Almas Vs. Roderick Strong. We got the same old schtick from Andrade as he posed in the ropes, pulling off the snarky but strong heel attitude that he’s been going for recently. But, good Ol’ Roddy Strong achieved the win with a Sick Kick after an onslaught of back and forth attacks which the audience was absolutely in love with. A fun match that didn’t overstay it’s welcome thanks to great performances from Strong and Almas.
The third match of the night, which I was particularly looking forward too, was #DIY Vs. The Authors of Pain for the NXT Tag Team Titles. As mentioned in previous recaps, Gargano and Ciampa are a couple of my favourites as they always give 110% in the ring. Now, combined with the imposing force of Akam & Rezar, they all put on a brilliant performance. A notable highlight was a call back to #DIY’s match with The Revival at NXT TakeOver: Toronto, Both Gargano and Ciampa got their submission moves on Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson at the same time and won the tag team titles. #DIY tried to use this same tactic against AoP, it looked like it was going to work until Gargano was overpoweerd, being picked up during his submission and power slammed onto Ciampa. All of this lead to the Authors of Pain winning and becoming your new NXT Tag Team Champions, which hit the universe as a bit of a shock. A brilliant match, AoP presented their dominance effectively and #DIY performed excellently, now we just have to wait and see if Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa get called up to the main roster soon.
NXT’s PPV a little slow for you? Well if so (what’s wrong with you?) a main roster superstar burst into the ring, grabbed a mic, and demanded justice. Who was it? the Architect himself, Seth Rollins. He wanted Triple H, shouting:
“I’m not leaving this ring until you come out here and make me!”
We even saw Triple H appear at the top of the ramp, though he sadly didn’t come to the ring, but instead sent security after Rollins. Rollins took on a considerable amount of men before he was outnumbered and dragged out of the arena. The appearance was a clever move on Rollins’ part, considering that HHH’s ego is far too large to be made to look a coward on his own passion project (if you’ll excuse the kayfabe for a moment). It was all quite the surprise, plus, it gives me a second to talk about the main shows on an NXT review. Seth Rollins feud with Triple H has been a little all over the place, first, he wants to get him back after being screwed out of the WWE Universal Title but then forgets about after a little while. Then, he decides to go after Kevin Owens, and then Chris Jericho, then stops for a while. Only recently have things started to go back on track with Rollins wanting Triple H specifically and now we’re slowly building towards a possible Wrestlemania match between Seth and HHH. The story line feels like a game of Snakes & Ladders but now they can progress it properly and maybe an exciting climax on the grandest stage of them all. Anyways, back to NXT.
The NXT Women’s championship match was up next with Asuka, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, and Nikki Cross. I genuinely looked forward to this match as all these women have really stood out on NXT and putting them together would surely create something of a spectacle. Billie and Peyton started off looking like lambs to the slaughter, but by the end of it, they truly showed how destructive they can be. Both Billie and Peyton put Nikki Cross through a freakin’ table (from the announce table, no less), which actually put her out of action for the rest of the match. Before that point though Nikki was still impressive and got some good spots like a top corner dive onto Billie & Peyton. Nikki even got the upper hand Asuka at one point with a neck breaker off the side of the ring. You’ll need a lot more to take down Asuka though, showing her strength by german suplexing both Billie & Peyton. Alas, with several stiff kicks, Asuka retained her NXT Women’s Championship. Great characters, fun spots, and the storyline continues as we wonder who can actually take Asuka down?
It’s now time for the main event, you could say it’s…MAGNIFICENT! no, maybe… STUPENDOUS! no? Oh well. The NXT Championship match with Shinsuke Nakamura vs Bobby “GLORIOUS” Roode (That’s the word – always escapes me). Despite the lack of buildup for the match, it was genuinely one of the best matches on the card with the pacing suggesting it could go either way for Nakamura or Roode to get the victory. Nakamura started to get the upper hand near the end but, after multiple strains to his leg, ended up on the floor, unable to get the cover on Roode after a devasting Kinshasa. Roode took advantage of the medical staff attending to Nakamura(after selling the move of course) landing a Glorious DDT, though it wasn’t quite enough to keep the King of Strong Style down. Roode caused more damage to Nakamura’s leg with a half Boston crab, before putting the nail in the coffin with one last Glorious DDT. Bobby Roode is now the NXT champion.
What does this all mean? Will Nakamura go for a rematch? Will he finally move up to the main roster? I guess we’re going to have to keep watching NXT to see what happens next. Overall this was a surprisingly brilliant TakeOver, considering the lack of build. All the matches were fun to watch and I was excited for what the next one would bring. The title matches were the biggest highlights of the show. If I had to recommend the match of the night, it’d be Nakamura vs Roode. Watch it right now. Do it. I’m not kidding.